Just recently a politician started the debate about Rama, again (many have done this even before and will do it later too). Now, many people just to prove that Rama is great try comparing him with “demon” king Ravana.
This an age-old debacle. And even some sadhus who belong to the northern belt have this bias, and use illogical logic with the southern people.
Rama is no doubt Great, that does not and need not be at the cost of Ravana.
One should understand that Ravana is a great bhakta of Lord Shiva, who had visiting rights everyday J in Kailas. If you start condemning him, the whole bhakti cult, even of Rama, will prove to be useless. Because even after God realization the wickedness , desire, hatred seems not to get destroyed. (And, his Jata kata from shiva thandava stotra is sung at the end of every feast (bandara) offered to Sadhus J)
One should not throw stones from a glass house. Ravana was a great ruler and a very loving and affectionate person; this can be seen even in the version of Ramayana which speaks great about Rama. And, only for the love for the sister he abducted Ramas wife. If that is adharma, than, even what Rama did cannot be termed as dharma, killing of Vali from hidden place, Sending Sita to forest etc.
The discussion of Dharma and Adharma is a very complicated thing. So, what is the truth or how should we understand this?
It is said in skanda purana that, Ravana went to Kailas to ask Shiva to remove this burden of Body which is what seperates him from the Shiva. For which shiva says, his punya is so much (very great) that it is possible for even him to destroy him. Hurt by these words, Ravana asks for a means to destroy the body (mind suicide is not accepted to be a proper way). For which shiva says, Vishnu will take an avatar of Rama to destroy the demons, and Ravana can help in doing it. But, helping an avatar will only be a action of Punya, therefore, he instructs him to kidnap Ramas wife, which is a greater sin. And thereby achieve his desired exit from the body.
Even Adyatma Ramayana explains, the story from the standpoint, that ravana knew the result of his every action.
Ironically, people from south, who are dubbed as the people from Ravana land, have not built any temple for ravana, though there are many figures of ravana pulling the car (ther) or in the palanquin. But, in the heartland of Rama, near Kanpur, there is a temple for Ravana.